Classic boot brand Dr Martens is poised to be sold to private equity firm Permira for around £300m sterling.
The Griggs family, which owns the majority of the business, is in advanced talks about a deal that could be announced by the end of this month, sources confirmed.
It would means the iconic boots joining the Permira stable of brands which also includes Hugo Boss and New Look.
Dr Martens has enjoyed a revival in fortunes in recent years as a new generation of stars such as Miley Cyrus and Emma Watson took up the "bovver boots" whose popularity had been on the wane.
The deal comes amid reports that the Griggs family is looking to exit the business after more than 50 years running the brand that last year made £15.3m pre-tax profits on revenues of £110m, following an abortive sale attempt last year.
Permira is thought likely to try to expand Dr Martens' online and store presence into new international markets.
The Northamptonshire-based Griggs family have been making shoes since 1901 and started producing the new boots in 1960 after the development of a revolutionary new air-cushioned sole by the Germans Klaus Martens and Herbert Funck.
Any deal will have to involve a separate royalty fee paid to the family of the inventors, according to UK media reports.